Have you ever come across any written material that had the ability to persuade you to buy?
I’m sure you have. Almost everything people buy online has some copywriting attached to it. The purpose of copywriting is to make you want it and buy it.
But it’s also important to remember that copywriting ALONE is like watching a movie without sound.
The reality is that copywriting is often a part of marketing, such as fliers, images, video scripts and landing pages. It rarely appears alone.
Copywriting is important because…
What is the most important commodity for any industry and company?
A skilled copywriter can write compelling headlines and advertising that grab the attention of the target buyer.
This ability to catch attention and make contact is the reason why copywriter can earn big salary.
Bringing in a new customer with writing is virtually as valuable as the life-time-value of the customer, multiplied by the total new customers.
Copywriting is important, because it can bring in 100 new customers to a business which are all worth 1,000 dollars, for example.
Therefore, the value of a single piece of excellent copy can be 100K, and in most cases, the same copy can be used again and again.
Any company that is struggling with their marketing strategies could solve their sales problem with one excellent sales letter.
The essential ingredient in all marketing
Let’s make it super simple.
People want to buy stuff to solve their problems and improve their life.
If you have something that do either or both of those things, then it’s worth bringing the product or service to the market.
And bringing something to the market simply means that you find the right audience and put your marketing message in front of them.
If the message fails to grab their attention instantly, your effort was worthless.
That’s why in direct response copywriting the message must be so compelling that customers purchase instantly.
Having the ability to write in a way that has the effect to make people open their wallets and give money, allows the best copywriters to build lucrative careers in copywriting.
An average person might think that it’s enough to present the information to a customer to get a response. Add two images, and the landing page is ready.
While that is a good start, he would find it hard to turn any traffic into a sale.
A great writer takes the information and turns features into benefits, and talks about what the buyer really wants to have.
Direct response copywriting is the foremost example of this challenge. Writing copy for cold audience and asking them to buy takes all the skill and resources a copywriter has. The result tells if the effort was a success or failure.
And whatever an average person might think about sales letters and landing pages, long copy tends to do better than short. Now, today.
Like employers reading applications letters, your resume has to click and catch the eye instantly. Same goes with direct response copywriting, you have 2 seconds at most to make an impression.
We don’t have time or attention for anything that is not interesting or a must.
Your headline has to be big news.
If it’s weak; promising nothing of interest, the reader will ignore your copy. That’s why you need to project an idea that grabs them by the throat and pulls them in.
So instead of writing a sales letter title like, ‘Professional Web Design Services with Great Prices’, you need to grab attention with something wild and strong:
‘Barbers are on the HUNT to get this new optimization on their websites!’
‘Store owner interview: This one culprit was slowing our growth by 400%’
‘I’m getting 600+ visitors on my website WEEKLY with this insane hack!’
One more example on how to frame the same information:
You could be talking about the same thing, but one is VERY interesting for jewelry store owners, the other is boring.
The difference between a good and bad headline is to make it very relevant and relatable for the target reader by telling a story that instantly rouses their interest and makes them want to find out what the promise is.
As you can see from the previous examples, in communication it’s important to jump outside of the frame of you and your company, and jump in the reality of the reader, and talk from that perspective.
They don’t care about your business or results. They want to get real help to make them rich, healthy and beautiful.
If you can deliver the message the right way, AND deliver on that promise, you will be successful. It must be said that some copywriters make kittens appear as lions, which leads to the disappointment of customers.
Therefore, the promise and the actual outcome must align. Big claims have to be real. And they can be, when you frame and paint the mental pictures the right way. Just don’t overdo it.
As a Finnish copywriter, I’ve been working with clients and employers both in English and Finnish.
It doesn’t matter which language you use; the principles are the same. It is, however, critical for you to use idiomatic translations if you are taking ideas from English text.
Unidiomatic translations, unlocalized content and grammatical errors deny any success with translated copy. Finnish translation for copywriting must be treated like a new text, or any language you are working on.
Believe me, working as a professional content writer in Finnish has exposed me to seeing an endless amount of poorly written fluff that melts your brain.
When you need to translate copy, follow these action points:
If the translation is properly localized, the readers will feel the right connection, and the ad copy will generate a response. Text that implies other cultural contexts cause subconscious disconnect that turns the readers off.
There’s one thing people hate to make: a decision.
Making a decision is risky, because making the wrong decision will have the consequence of losing either money or respect.
If not losing the respect of others, it will affect negatively the buyer’s self-respect, and egos are allergic to that.
That’s the reason skepticism and doubt are high when people see ads.
To bypass the decision-making risk and high skepticism, a smart copywriter writes helpful articles to gain trust in the readers, and only go for the ask in the last chapter.
Helpful article means giving something of value to the reader, for example, an insider knowledge or free resources they can use instantly to improve their results themselves.
If the copywriter is even smarter, the ask is soft and alluring – offering them more value for free, with an option to buy something.
When operating in this manner, people are more approving and trusting for any offers that come after.
One successful strategy is getting people to read your blog with useful articles, then offering them an attractive free PDF or other material in exchange for their email addresses.
When they opt-in to your email newsletter list, writing email advertising is a magnificent way to get more sales and improve your skills.
As long as the customer is first, as a principle, and you educate and encourage him or her to make better decision with great examples, you will create enough good will to generate clients forever.
The question ‘Why copywriting is important’ is a clue that you are either an inspiring copywriter, a business owner or in a marketing role, and that is why you are here.
Copywriting is an essential skill for creating effective ads, regardless of roles or jobs.
You could be getting 100 people a week visit your landing page, but if no-one raises their hand and say yes, your copy needs rewriting.
There are four elements you need to check:
‘The cover and back cover are what sells the book, not the content.’
Starting with the headline, your direct response copywriting has to invoke a feeling inside the reader. A pull strong enough to dismiss other signals and follow yours.
It has to offer an insight, a new piece of information or free value interesting enough, that all other stimuli hitting the senses of the prospect get ignored.
It’s good to think about it biologically to have a clear head what you actually have to achieve with your headline.
As mentioned before, the HOOK has to grab them instantly with strong message. One great way to catch attention is by saying something controversial:
“We were wasting money on SEM when this new SEO is bringing us 600% in ROI!”
You might notice that the headline is HIGHLY NICHED DOWN. Only people who know what SEM, ROI and SEO are can even read the ad.
It’s not for math teachers or firemen. You don’t want them, so don’t try to write headlines for everyone – go the opposite direction.
Whistle only for the dog whose attention you want.
Next, your landing page or email has to generate more interest to keep the person reading. This is where you need to check you copy.
Direct your readers with inspirating promises and by identifying their problem in a very clear way, to position yourself as someone who knows what he is talking about.
This way your copywriting keeps the attention.
While keeping the focus on them with the framing of your writing, each section can amplify your authority, to subconsciously convince them that you are the guide and teacher who can really help them.
Or your product is the remedy they have been looking for.
Always when creating ads, the buyer needs your help to make the decision. They don’t know what you know, ANY of it, and you should treat them as such.
It might be obvious that a new bed is soft and comfortable, but assume they don’t know anything. Tell the obvious by using expressive language that fits the level of the target market.
Reading reviews from Amazon helps you to find the right words and style.
Find a personal tone, similar how you would write your friend a letter, and your message will have a much better response.
Using this natural and friendly flow, present the offer in a similar manner. How would you convince your friend to buy?
Creating an offer also benefits from good packaging. See how the competition is presenting their products or services. Take notes and inspiration, how to clearly define your own offer.
Coming up with a cool name and very clear definition helps buyers to make a decision (which they hate, if you remember).
Be it online courses, services or physical products, you want your readers to take action, and that’s why the direct response copywriting you are using here has to be different from offers they’ve heard and declined before.
All this effort would be wasted, if they followed your copy up to this point only to leave after hearing an offer they’ve heard before.
It’s your job to make them believe that this is something different what they really want. Include a simple way to back out (full refund) to minimize the risk.
Compare apples to lemons to give a framing that makes your offer seem like a great deal.
While you might now wonder that your copy is trailing and getting too long, repetition is a strong hypnotic technique to influence the reader.
You can show the offer, list the benefits and give the reader a call-to-action two or three times inside the text, amplifying the tone of a direct order towards the end.
This way the page prepares the reader to take action. Different types of people act differently.
Some people will click the first button to buy after reading a minute or two, while others need to read through all the marketing material and spend time to finally follow the last call to action and click the button.
Make sure your content answers ALL the obvious questions and lists all the obvious benefits, so that the reader can learn why they need to buy now.
Then it’s time to step up the game and ask them to take an action. Don’t beg or you will look weak. Be the authority and show them the potential that’s available if they say yes.
Give very clear instruction what to do next, and also, what will happen immediately after.
Uncertainty makes people abandon the ship, so be the center of confidence by letting them know the next steps and help them follow through.
Can you now piece it together?
Use these examples, find the right audience, and write direct copy for them.
The best thing about copywriting, advertising and marketing is the ability to test and improve infinitely.
Study writing, read popular copywriting posts and write samples that you can test with smaller audiences to master direct copy and find the winners.
Continue reading to learn more:
Curious about marketing to gamers? Let’s craft your message together to get better results.